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Open mike 09/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 9th, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

48 comments on “Open mike 09/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    “The best is yet to come”

    Barack Hussein Obama Victory Speech Tuesday 11/6/12

    Hardly ever has any president made such a grand eloquent promise, at the start of any inauguration.

    Significant words. That if made lightly will come to haunt this President’s final administration like an albatross around it’s neck.

    But if fullfilled will elevate Obama into the ranks of one of the greats.

    In his victory speech Obama also talked, (09:32 – 10:15), of an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet”.

    This must mean that he has in mind a concrete course of action to remove that threat.

    When someone says, ‘the best is yet to come’, it usually means that they have a plan and a course of action in mind.

    Hopefully we will know what shape that plan will take within the coming ‘First Hundred Days’ of this renewed administration, when newly elected presidents traditionally release their new policy initiatives.

    Let us hope that Obama will release his plan to achieve his promise made to the American people; “That the best is yet to come” within the coming days.

    After all the crunch is rapidly approaching.

    That crunch is the approaching January deadline agreed to by the previous Bush administration to abolish the “deficit trigger”, a promise to undo the more than $500 billion in automatic tax increases for the wealthy that are due to automatically click in to place in January to prevent a deficit in government accounts. ie the money necessary to pay for social programs like environmental protection, healthcare, pensions, veterans benefits, etc. The two deadlines, the approaching deficit and the approaching promise to cancel the automatic tax increases on the rich, are in imminent collision. One or the other has to give.

    If it is the former that has to give way, this will be huge slap in the face for Obama supporters.

    An earlier attempted bipartisan approach by Obama to congress asking them to vote for $1 of every $2.50 in tax cuts instead, was roundly rejected by the Republican dominated congress who demanded the full tax rebate for their backers.

    Due to the intransigence of the Republicans – to break the deadlock, the President may have to use emergency executive powers to over rule them.

    No doubt he will receive a severe right wing backlash for doing so.

    An indication of which way Obama may go was given in an Obama election pamphlet entitled, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security.” which promised that a second Obama administration would hire more teachers, promote manufacturing and raise taxes on the wealthy as “The New Economic Patriotism”

    If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers, decided to spend similar amounts on the necessary technologies to address climate change the effects could be immense. Not only would it address the climate it would be a huge stimulus to the real economy of manufacturing and jobs. Effectively killing two birds with one stone.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers,

      well…when Iraq and Afghanistan wars were at top volume, billions were being spent a week…

    • Jenny 1.2

      The fight heats up.

      Will the Democrats cave under the pressure?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/7924297/Closing-the-gap-before-the-cliff

      Equity traders threaten the Whitehouse:

      What I am afraid of it is going to take a dive, a disruptive dive by equity prices in order to prompt Washington into, into coming up with a solution that is acceptable both politically and economically.

      John Lansky</b of Moodies Capital Markets

      The Republican dominated Congress declares class war:

      In a garbled and rather vague address, a strained looking John Bainer, the Republican House leader, attacked any tax hikes on the rich saying it would be better to "grow the economy". (Though he doesn't say how this should be done).

      That theory, known as trickle-down economics and dating to the era of President Ronald Reagan, holds that cutting taxes will vastly increase the size of the and profit pie, thereby producing more revenue even at lower tax rates.income

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst clarifies John Bainer’s argument.

      And though the Democrats dominate in the Senate, The Republican Senators announce that they will be as obstructive as possible:

      As the Leader of the Senate minority, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell signalled a readiness at continued obstruction if the Democrats and the president don’t capitulate.

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst

      Despite these determined rear guard attacks from the Republicans and the financiers of Wall Street. So far, the Democrats still seem to be holding their ground:

      “There was a message sent to us by the American people based on the campaign. And that is, people making all this money have to contribute a little bit more.

      And all the exit polling, all the polling we’ve done, the vast majority of the American people support that, including rich people.

      Harry Reid Democrat Senate Majority Leader

      In the face of those challenges, Obama had told Americans on Election Day that he had never been more optimistic.

      ‘‘The best is yet to come,’’ he said at his victory rally in Chicago, ticking off his legislative goals of reforming the tax system, working to ease climate change and overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

      Mitt Romney who led a campaign based on division and winner take all arrogance. In an act of cynical hypocrisy, is now calling on the Democrats to work with the Republicans to cut social spending:

      ‘‘At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering,’’ Romney said, after a campaign filled with it.

      ‘‘Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.’’

      You just know that Romney, this multi billionaire financier would not be this magnanimous in victory.

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Canterbury still looking like Fiji

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7926305/Axing-election-abuse-of-human-rights-watchdog

    But until the Central Plains and Hurunui irrigation schemes, and the extra Waitaki water take, are rammed through, don’t expect any change.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

    • vto 2.1

      .
      David Carter refused to comment.

      Arsehole. He should take his family money and shove it up his arse. Unwelcome.

      • Ianmc 2.2.1

        Yesterday at the Select Committee Environment and Local Body Meeting, the chief man at the Human Rights Mr Rutherford gave a burst that the stripping of democratic Rights was an affront to all that wars ghad been fought to preserve. Nick Smith got very angry and defensive. Wonder why. All NZ should be called to arms to condemn this antidemocratic travesty of ECan.

        • vto 2.2.1.1

          Yes I caught that.

          Nick Smith needs to wake up and open his beady eyes.

          Same with David Carter. I am sure both of them would never in their wildest dreams (……) imagine they have acted in the exact same manner as the third world tin-pot dictators that we all spit on.

          pitoooey

    • millsy 2.3

      Irrigation schemes should be publicly owned IMO, and metered, with revenue/profit going straight into cleaning up our rivers.

      That’s what happens in the USA, and to a lesser extent, Australia.

      We seem to let the private sector run the irrigation schemes, and pocket the profits and the water.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Jenny – While I go along with most of what you say, I think I ought to caution against Utopian thinking concerning the United States of America (in which I have lived, worked and studied over many years). A President, of course, has nothing like the unlimited power and influence many people think he possesses. We have heard all Obama’s skilled oratory (rhetoric, even hyperbole) before. The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?) On the other hand, America is a generous country that treats foreigners rather well, a country of astounding extremes (for better and for worse).

    In American politics you do not have much choice, for all the overwhelming cost of elections. There is not effective Left, the choice is between a Party leaning well towards the Right and another Party also leaning to the Right, but considerably less so (demonstrating compassion through policies that are not discriminatory). Times might be tough at present, but still materialism and marked patriotism are firmly in place throughout America.

    “The best is yet to come”, proclaims Obama. Does this imply furtherance of the rather self-indulgent “American Dream”? Are these words comparable to another political leader who promised his country “a brighter future”? (Suddenly up to 7.3% unemployment, which thus far is receiving some remarkably mild reactions, a few even hinting that it is not too bad news, and that we are doing better, after all, than some other countries (which makes it alright!) “The best is yet to come” – we will have to wait a bit for Obama to unpack that prediction.

    • marsman 3.1

      Dr Terry. Mitt Romney also promised ‘a brighter future’ but the American public wisely rejected him. Unfortunately our very own Mitt is having a ball destroying our country.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?)

      Exactly my worry about Obama… 🙁

  4. marsman 4

    Yet another truck has crashed.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7927518/Molasses-tanker-crashes

    That makes three truck crashes in two days. Should there be an investigation into the trucking industry?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Another driver probably half-asleep in the early hours of the morning.

      This was predicted. Nats blocked any action as usual. Workers are disposable.

      http://www.dogandlemon.com/articles/sleep-death

      http://www.labour.org.nz/portfolios/transport-safety?page=2

    • Bill 4.2

      Remember the TV3 newspiece not so long ago (18 months back?) that scoffed at and ridiculed the idea of maximum driving hours for truckies ? The story focussed on a company dealing in agricultural product that was getting slapped with a wet bus ticket for basically ignoring the regulation. Much hilarity from drivers and an apparent inability on the part of the reporters to grasp the seriousness of the matter.

    • millsy 4.3

      Doesnt help that our railway system is being run down slowly.

      Being wise enough to realise that selling it as a going concern is a no go, they are going to break it up and flog it off bit by bit by bit.

  5. Bill 5

    How the fuck does the British PM ( as headlined in both the guardian and the independent) figure that the current focus on paedophilia (healthy or unhealthy as it might be) in the UK is a ‘gay with-hunt’??? He’s just given the green light for people to view gays as potential paedophiles, no? And meanwhile, the so-called liberal press of the UK has underscored and endorsed the prejudice by giving the tosh uncritical headline prominance. Fucking unbelievable.

    • rosy 5.1

      That, Bill, was exactly what I thought. The media and public were focusing on paedophiles – not sexual preference between consenting adults. Cameron just switched the emphasis to gay men to get himself out of a bind.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      At the risk of being all contrarian, I thought Cameron handled the ambush pretty well. The UK has a history of conflating gay with paedophilia and at least one newspaper a few years ago printed the names and addresses of people innacurately accused of crimes against kids on that basis*. Innocent people were assaulted as a result. I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay, so Cameron will have been answering in that context.
       
      * can’t recall the paper, but I think it was Rebekah Brooks who ran the name and shame campaign. Again, without bothering to search, I recall that a podiatrist was also attacked, because the word sounds like paedophile.

      edit: News of the World et al, circa 2000

      • rosy 5.2.1

        Yes, it was Rebekah Brooks and yes, paedohilia and paediatrician were confused because of the hype.

        Yes, Cameron was ambushed, but he handled it badly imo – he should have just said internet speculation is just speculation. He aimed to deflect rather than quash speculation.

        And yes “I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay” might be true, but just as true (numerically more so) is – I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as sexually abusing children* are indeed straight (including the one this all started with – Jimmy Savile).

        * kiddy fiddlers although a common term sounds like a game to me.

      • Bill 5.2.2

        Thanks for the vid lnk. Yes. Cameron was robust. But why say (paraphrasing) ‘particularily gay people’? Is that his own prejudice? And why oh why oh why do the broadsheets give prominence (and therefor a degree of legitimacy) to that claim or concern in a way that can only reinforce existing prejudice?

        Wouldn’t it have been healthier to have questioned that bit of Cameron’s response and laid the prejudice bare for the tosh that it is? Further, shouldn’t it be expected from so-called intelligent jouornalistic outputs?

        edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.2.1

          edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.
           
          Not mutually exclusive, Bill!
           
          It’s likely that Cameron knows the names and equally likely, given his response, that some may be gay. I got the impression that Cameron was trying to do the decent thing in that interview, which is a fluffy breakfast show, not, say, Hardtalk. Can you imagine Key defending gays against unwarranted attack? No, me neither. If it was me in his place, I would have been tempted to point out to Philip Schofield that as a former TV children’s entertainer in the 80’s and nineties, there might be people speculating about his tendencies, too. But, then, I’m a bit of a bastard!

          • Bill 5.2.2.1.1

            I didn’t say the two are mutually exclusive. But the list focussed on political allegience/office – or public figures/profiles – not sexual orientation. So he could/should have defended politicians. Or specifically Tory politicians – or whatever. But his mention of gays was in no way defending them (they weren’t being questioned or attacked or focussed on up until that point). And what his pronouncement has done is to place them in the crosshairs. It’s fucked up.

          • Vicky32 5.2.2.1.2

            edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

            What I have heard on the radio this morning, is, that heads have rolled – that is, the allegation against a Tory MP was false, and so the editor of Newsnight has fallen on his sword.
            Interesting!

        • Uturn 5.2.2.2

          On the upside, you and me know why and how to tell the difference and we aren’t the only people of our type in the world. If our collective perspective prefers an over-reliance on numbers, statistics and generalisation, to turn a specific sample of “some homosexuals abused children” and conflate it to become “most child abusers are homosexuals” then we can use the same method to say:

          “Our current political rhetoric utilises generalisations to create the fear of opposite” and then “Politicians are manipulative and untrustworthy”.

          In our everyday life though, it’s up to us to know our responsibility to face the individual circumstance before us, not the prejudice in our minds. Otherwise we aren’t thinking and living our lives, we’re remembering what we’ve been told and we might as well be robots or cardboard cut-outs. The person next door, who co-incidentally may be gay, should be extended the same respect and privacy we think we deserve if we’re hetro. They might be thinking, “I’ll just keep an eye on that hetro, I know how unbalanced they get round people like me.”. They might just be living their life, like nosey hetros should learn to do.

          If this was the case, newspapers and the proclamations of the manipulative would become like the distant farts of a far off mud pit, while real people, dealing in real realtionships, got on with their lives.

    • muzza 5.3

      Bill can appreciate what you are sayingm but lets not miss the major point here which is something that I have mentioned previously.

      There are very dark forces at work, and those forces use “the establishment”, and are part of “the establishment” , to abuse, and systematically cover up this type of behaviour.

      This is only the latest example that what is said about those who ‘run the world’ , is backed up by the same response at the Catholic Church.

  6. vto 7

    ha ha ha ha ha ha this has to be the funniest attempt at credibility in a while …….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7927838/Industry-backs-Todd-fracking-report

    • weka 7.1

      “Major players in the oil and gas industry have spoken in support of a report saying the industry will become unprofitable if fracking is banned.”
       
      Well duh. Peak oil is as much about economics as the other. Eventually even with fracking, the industry will become unprofitable. By then we will have ruined the environment even more, just when we need a clean environment the most.

      • PlanetOrphan 7.1.1

        This is from WikiPedia …

        “impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these.[6] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or even banning it”

        Surface contamination = Liquification.

        Anyone care too investigate the connection in Canterbury?

        “A proppant is a material that will keep a induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment”

        “Radioactive tracer isotopes are sometimes included in the hydrofracturing fluid”

  7. millsy 8

    Chris Trotter quite rightly suggests that the Fifth Labour Government is as much to blame for Pike River as anyone else

    From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.

    A lot of people on this blog think that Helen Clark’s government was the best ever, while over at Kiwiblog the rednecks entertain us with a delusional view that this country was like Bolshevik Russia in the 1920’s.

    It wasant really all that left wing.

    If you want a real left wing progressive government in New Zealand — look at Norman Kirk and Bill Rowling’s short lived government, even if Roger Douglas was in cabinet — back then he came up with some pretty progressive stuff (though I guess he was on a shorter leash back then).

    • “From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.”

      Most of the true ‘left’ if you can all it that is voting Green, while the rest remain in Labour trying to get the last of the 80s bunch out of the party. 🙂

    • PlanetOrphan 8.2

      You can argue historical issues for ever millsy.

      The real issue is the “Real Time” governance of this country and it’s spineless implementation.

      The “Left” would not have been spineless, simple fact.
      Because they have “Ground” too stand on and would’ve pressured Pike River real time about it’s workplace standards and procedures.

      Even when the opposition calls the Gnats’ on it they reply with delusional obfuscated PR spin.

      It’s unbelievable too me that anyone over the age of 10 would think John Key a trustworthy person, and this rest of the Gnats’ are even worse, through subservience and gutlessness they are killing New Zealanders’ with impunity and a smile M8!.

      • karol 8.2.1

        Well, Trotter’s post/article also ends on a hopeful note, looking to the future:
         

        Following the Royal Commission Report’s release, Labour leader, David Shearer, was asked if he thought the deregulatory pendulum had swung too far. Mr Shearer responded by saying that “the government needs to be much more hands on than it has been”.

        It is to be hoped that these words reflect a genuine change of heart on Labour’s part, and that the next time they’re in office, Labour politicians will not hesitate to prevent the private sector’s “drive for production” (and profits) from pushing workers’ rights to effective workplace protection off the agenda.

        Although Trotter’s final sentence is one last kick at Labour for its past record.

        • prism 8.2.1.1

          Perhaps Labour being more hands on would happen if we got some real tradesmen, semi-skilled workers, and mature women with family raising as well as paid workforce experience to those standing for Labour representation. Real hands-on people, not just higher educated, computer finger-clicking geniuses and lawyers good with words and understandings of the analogous nuts and bolts the state uses to keep us under control.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1

            prism.

            A non-university qualified hands-on working labourer like Savage would have no hope of being allowed to lead todays Labour Party. That’s a fact.

  8. Jackal 9

    National guilty of ecocide

    What National obviously fail to understand is that the cost of reducing GHG emissions, which is a required expense to reduce the effects of anthropomorphic climate change, might not be cheap… But the cost of failing to act will be even more expensive…

    • weka 9.1

      John Key, if he thinks about it at all, no doubt imagines that his grandchildren will live in ecodome, gated communities in Hawaii. The plebs can live on the scorched earth.

  9. prism 10

    I noticed that Cameron connected paedophiles with gays. As far as I know heterosexuals can be quite as perverted in that direction as any other sexual persuasion. And incest can occur within apparently ‘normal’ families. And mothers can sometimes be compliant and silent about this because doing something destroys the marriage, family and home and apparent wellbeing and respect in the community etc. So the child, usually daughter, is abandoned to their own sad initiation into sex and twisted adulthood. All very dark and destructive to the human soul and a young person’s sense of self-worth.

    Gays going about their gay lives in a way that follows personal integrity deserve better than being conflated with those perversions of love that lead to incest and other sick obssessions.

  10. karol 11

    THAT interview in the Listener is now available online.  What’s so wrong with a politician being smart, and aware of his media image?  Does John Key not manipulate his media appearances even more than Cunliffe?
     
    After all the bluster by right wingers, and English in parliament, the actual Espiner interview doesn’t live up to that hype.  It looks like a lot of framing by Espiner to make Cunliffe look bad. 
     
    The important issues to me are what political policies, and strategies Cunliffe will pursue.  The inteview highlights the main ones.
     

    Cunliffe believes a new epoch is now upon us and that the left will no longer play second fiddle to the right as it has these past three decades. “The left of politics had to really adapt. You got Clinton’s Democrats. You got Blair’s Third Way, which to some extent had to accommodate and triangulate on triumphal markets and the Washington Consensus, and then the great crash of ’08-’09 happened and I reckon – we reckon – that that changes things again,” he says. “That gives not only the necessity but the freedom for us to ask big questions about do those policy settings, pre-crash, fit our people well for the future? And the answer in many cases is no.”

    Rightly or wrongly, Cunliffe believes that the faction against him in caucus, is unhappy with his desire for change.  And he reckons his opponents have learnt from Garner’s leaks.  We shall see.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      OH FFS

      NZ’s reputation turned to mud

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        That’s generally what happens under Nationals governance.

        ”We are on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes, ” he said.

        That would be like the returning to surplus 2014/15 promise achieved by cutting taxes for the rich.

  11. BROADENING THE DEBATE ABOUT ‘POST-SEPARATION EMPLOYMENT’
    (THE ‘REVOLVING DOOR’)

    The latest from Cronywatch… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/crony-watch-2/

    This ‘revolving door’ is another form of GRAND CORRUPTION which is endemic in New Zealand.

    There should be a ‘quarantine’ period of 18 months / 2 years from the time politicians and senior staff leave the public service to when they take up employment in the private sector in an area where they could be seen to be using their contacts etc…..

    eg: Former Minister of Justice and Commerce – Simon Power – going straight from Parliament to head the Westpac private bank. In Australia – both at Commonwealth and State Government level – that would be illegal.

    The term is ‘post-separation employment’.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5767710/Simon-Power-to-head-Westpac-Private-Bank

    Simon Power to head Westpac Private Bank
    Last updated 14:20 11/10/2011

    MOVING ON: Justice Minister Simon Power will take over as head of Westpac Private Bank.

    Cabinet minister Simon Power will be taking over as the head of Westpac Private Bank, it was announced today.

    The Rangitikei MP, 41, has been a National MP for 12 years and was tipped as the next party leader until his shock decision to stand down at the November general election.

    Power said he felt he was young enough to have a second career.

    Today, it was announced the commerce and justice minister would head Westpac Private Bank, a subsidiary of Westpac which deals with premium personal customers.
    ……………..
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    NEW SOUTH WALES INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION (ICAC)

    http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/preventing-corruption/knowing-your-risks/post-separation-employment/4301

    Post-separation employment

    Post-separation employment is the situation where a public official leaves the public sector and obtains employment in the private sector. The principle underlying the management of post-separation employment is the need to ensure that public sector decisions are made only on their merits and not compromised by extraneous considerations or personal interests.
    The Department of Premier and Cabinet Personnel Handbook refers to this issue in Section 8-12:

    Employees should not use their position to obtain opportunities for future employment. They should not allow themselves or their work to be influenced by plans for, or offers of, employment outside the department.

    The type of employment which may be cause for concern is that which bears a close or sensitive relationship with the person’s former position as a public official. Examples might be regulators who go to work in an industry they formerly regulated, an adviser or chief executive who resigns from the public service to work in the private sector in the area of his or her former expertise, or a former government minister who obtains work as a political lobbyist.

    The risk of corruption is higher if the post-separation work involves contact with the former department, colleagues, or staff of the former public official. For the most part former public officials have no restrictions imposed on the type of employment they can obtain after they leave the public sector, and many post-separation employment problems only emerge after the public official has left public sector employment.

    Corrupt conduct related to the post-separation employment of a public official can occur either before or after the official leaves public employment.

    Corruption risks

    A risk assessment of the management of post-separation employment is likely to identify some or all of the following corruption risks:

    A current public official using their position to obtain an advantage for their future employment.

    A former public official attempting to influence former colleagues to make decisions that favour their new employment or private business.

    A former public official establishing their own business in the same field as the public agency and approaching the agency’s clients for business, using confidential information gained from the agency.

    A former public official becoming a lobbyist for a private organisation or specialist group and trying to gain confidential information or favourable treatment from former colleagues.

    A current public official stealing information, intellectual property, or other resources to develop their own business and/or to enhance employment prospects with other agencies and organisations.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • kiwicommie 14.1

      There is corruption in New Zealand politics that is pretty much under the radar, but keep in mind that such corruption is not illegal; the Roger Douglas crowd did a lot of things we would consider corrupt but it was not illegal. At the end of the day governments can act with impunity in New Zealand.

      We do not have a solid constitutional document (even the Treaty of Waitangi could be removed if a government was determined enough) nor acts that cannot be easily overturned with a simple majority vote. Truth be told, a politician can do whatever he/she likes so long as he is on side with the government in power and doesn’t do what is termed ‘illegal’.

      Until New Zealand gets an anti-corruption commission and makes conflicts of interests a punishable offense in law for politicians, we can’t do anything about it beyond exposing such in the media; but as it is not illegal, again it would result in no action.

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    RedlineBy Admin
    3 hours ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
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    4 hours ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
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    4 hours ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
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    4 hours ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
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    4 hours ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    5 hours ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
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    6 hours ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
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    6 hours ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
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    6 hours ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    8 hours ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    8 hours ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    19 hours ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    22 hours ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
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    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
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    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
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    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
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    2 days ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
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    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago

  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    48 mins ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    53 mins ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    23 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
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  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
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  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
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  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
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